‘GIRL’ Power: The Breakout Performances of Déborah Lukumuena and Young Prodigy Le’Shantey Bonsu

GIRL - Adura Onashile

Fresh from a triumphant screening at the BFI London Film Festival, “Girl,” directed by the brilliant Adura Onashile, introduces audiences to an intimate narrative interplay between a mother and daughter. The film’s depth hinges on the compelling performances of its lead actors. Deborah Lukumuena, celebrated for her groundbreaking role in Divines and her recent appearance in The Braves, masterfully crafts the complexity of the mother’s journey. Meanwhile, the raw talent of British-Ghanaian actor Le’Shantey Bonsu, despite her tender age and being relatively new to the cinematic scene, shines luminously in her feature debut. Dive into their shared world of wonder, vulnerability, and the interwoven tapestry of past and present.

We spoke to both Déborah Lukumuena and Le’Shanty Bonsu about their time working on Girl.

Enter Déborah Lukumuena

Presh Williams: What do you hope the audience can take away from GIRL?

Déborah Lukumuena: I hope that people see that trauma and unconditional love can share the same space and if the one isn’t treated or faced properly, the other one explodes and creates more trauma. When Grace finally chooses herself, it means she acknowledges this.

Presh Williams: How was it like working with the director, Adura Onashile?

Déborah Lukumuena: I’m so glad I met and worked with Adura. She’s the first black female I worked with and this means a lot to me. The plotline is inspired by the relationship she has with her own mother and she was able to share it with me as well as the complexity of mother-daughter relationships, being a mother herself. I felt safe with her honesty and the personal view and telling she added. I haven’t birthed yet but I was able to feel the dreadful pain of a mother having to separate from her own child in order to protect her and to heal.

Introducing Le’Shanty Bonsu

Presh Williams: How was it like auditioning for the role?

Le’Shanty Bonsu: Auditioning for Girl was quite intense but also simultaneously exciting for me as when I got the opportunity to audition it was very early on in my acting career.

Presh Williams: When did you first realise you wanted to get into acting?

Le’Shanty Bonsu: I realised that I wanted to get into acting at around the age of 9. When I was in primary school we used to do a certain activity called ‘Improvise Drama’ where we would be given a scene to improvise and from that time I just knew acting was a part of me.

GIRL will be screening on Wednesday 18th October across UK cinemas as part of Big Picture Film Club’s Diverse Cinema partnership with Odeon Cinemas.

Also Read: Review: The After

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